To defend our Catholic faith we need to know the Holy Bible in order to show ourselves and others who God is. By reading Holy Scripture we learn clearly that God is the same today, tomorrow and forever. Besides studying the Bible to learn this fact, it is at the same time very interesting and builds up our own faith.
The Bible shows us how God created us good and He wants us to be His people. God made a covenant with the Israelites to be His particular possession above all people, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. But as always, we see them rebelling against God’s laws and worshiping false gods. God not only gives them moral laws that will protect them, but also gives them ritual laws. He set up the Levites to be the priestly tribe and who are to offer sacrifices in very very detailed ways. If you think the rules of the Latin Mass are strict, read the Books of Leviticus and Numbers. God has always been and always will be a loving strict God.
When His people are obedient they are blessed. When they are disobedient they are curse and slaughtered. There is capital punishment, like stoning to death, for breaking God’s laws too. Today we do not like this because, we want to do anything we want with no consequences coming from God. Whether you believe in God or not, there are consequences for disordered lives or sinful actions.
When the Israelites adored the golden calf in the desert, God had Moses and the Levites slaughter twenty three thousand men. Exodus 32: 27-28. Complaining against God and Moses cause some to be devoured by fire. Numbers 11: 1. Again when they rebelled against Moses and Aaron and blasphemed the Lord, the earth opened and some Israelites and their tents went down alive into hell. They also received the plague. Numbers 16: 30. They complained again and God sent fiery serpents which bit them and killed many. The people repented and Moses prayed and God healed them by the brazen serpent on the pole. Numbers 21: 5-9. Another twenty four thousand were slain for falling into idolatry and fornication. Numbers 25: 9.
It goes on and on. Blessings and punishments. It is of special importance to read Deuteronomy 27 & 28 to understand the point I am making. These chapters are about the blessings and curses that God will bestow on His people if they keep or break His covenant and laws once in the Promised Land.
Through Josue’s leadership, God blesses His people with the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. The spies he sends to reconnoiter the land, lie about the Giants living there and no one wants the blessing. God miraculously clears it for them by divine victories. He gives them towns and vineyards that they neither built nor plant.
This is a great lesson for us today. Everyday He gives us love, life and creation and all he asks us to do on our part is be thankful and obey the rules that come along with His gifts.
Just before Josue’s death, he retells all the great miracles God had done starting with Abraham up till then. This happens regularly in the Bible and is very important to do now when everything looks so gloomy in the world and the Church. It reminds us how many blessings and curses have happened to mankind as we relive this salvation history. Josue again renews the covenant between God and His people who again swear to obey God’s commandments. And as usual they offer sacrifice on a stone altar.
But after his death the Israelites again decide to not obey God and that brings upon them wars and destruction. God raises up judges to rule them, of which is the most famous and righteous Samuel. As long as they obey God their borders are secure and peaceful. But as soon as they give in to idolatry and injustice, their neighbors invade them and oppress them. One of these time when the Philistines are afflicting them, God raises up Samson to protect them. When he sins with women, he is blinded and dies destroying the Philistines.
They want to have a king like all the other nations. God promises them a king, but they would be cursed with taxes and young men drafted into the army. So Saul is anointed as the first king of Israel. As long as he is faithful to God’s commands he is blessed. Again he dies in war because of his evil ways.
David is then anointed king. Everything he does is blessed until, because of adultery, he sins and kills Urias, the husband of Bethsabee. David’s life is blessed in so many ways, but all his sins are punished by God. The same thing happens with David’s son Solomon. Because he does not ask for riches or power, but wisdom, God blesses him with wisdom and riches. His fame spreads all over the world. He builds the great temple. But he falls into idolatry from all his lust with too many wives. And his actions curse his descendants by dividing the tribes of Israel.
May we realize that we Catholics have made a covenant of Baptism with God and renew the covenant every time we offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. May this pass through sacred history help us to reject what offends God and obey Him. May we be blessed by many holy traditional families and children and many vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.